Dick Army led by Dick Armey marches on Washington

Dick Army Marches on Washington
The Dick Army At Work.

All those folks that don’t want to pay taxes unless it is for torture and war marched on Washington, D.C. today.

The protests, organized by Fox News and FreedomWorks.org (Dick Armey’s lobbying firm) focused on how U.S. taxes should be cut to increase the deficit by even more than the $5,000,000,000,000 added during the last eight years.

“The government should be concentrating on cutting spending on all the programs, not thinking of new, wonderful ways of spending more. … I’ve voted my whole life. This is the first time in my life I’ve gotten off the couch and said, ‘I’m sick of this. It’s only three hours away, and I’m going to be there.'”

Translation, “I loved it when Reagan and Bush ran up the deficits, but now that it’s a Democrat doing so, I finally got off my couch to yell at him.”

The rampant ignorance about the current situation on health care in the U.S. was par for the course.

Another man said, “We’re here to let the government know that we do not want government involvement in our health care, nor do we want the higher taxation that comes along with such a proposal.”

“We like having a government and health care system which is the absolute worst industrialized country in the world when it comes to preventing the death of our own citizens,” he did not add. [source 1]

Not realizing their own hypocrisy, the organizers tried to paint it the protests as having absolutely nothing to do with partisanship.

What brought everything together was the Obamacare idea, which contains every odiferous objection,” Tea Party Express organizer Mark Williams said in August.


Although the Tea Party Express tour was funded by Our Country Deserves Better, a conservative political action committee, Williams said his organization is nonpartisan and that the rallies are not aimed at one politician over another, namely Obama.


“This is not people upset over one particular politician or one particular party,” Williams has said. “In fact, if you ask the Republicans in the crowd, you’ll find they are just as upset at their party as they are at the Democrats.”



[quotes from here]

I’ve mentioned this before, but I find the entire “Tea Party” movement to completely lack any sense of their own irony.  From the ‘pedia.

The Tea Party was the culmination of a resistance movement throughout British America against the Tea Act, which had been passed by the British Parliament in 1773. Colonists objected to the Tea Act for a variety of reasons, especially because they believed that it violated their right to be taxed only by their own elected representatives.

Now, instead of protesting against the right to be taxed only by their own elected representatives, they are protesting against the right to be taxed by their own elected representative.

This is like South Carolina rep Joe Wilson shouting out that Obama is a liar (when fact checking orgs all say it is Wilson who has a problem with the facts) about illegal immigrant, when he himself voted for an (unpaid for) expansion of federal benefits for…wait for it…illegal immigrants [2].

To make matters worse, none of these folks had any problems with George W. Bush cutting taxes (and increasing the deficit) by $2,500,000,000,000 (nearly 40% of which went to richest 1% of Americans, many of whom are now running these latest protests).  This simple fact exposes the hypocrisy and partisan nature of these protests.  What, you folks *just* realized that Bush doubled the national deficit….now it’s all Obama’s fault?

To make matters even more hypocritical, with all the signs I saw, and all the rhetoric I heard, I didn’t hear a single complaint about the U.S. government, under Bush and Cheney, torturing people.  I didn’t hear a single complaint about warrantless wiretaps.  Nothing about the actual abuses of power, just a bunch of whining about how people don’t want to pay for…well…anything.


A couple of observations watching the proceedings on C-Span.

Unknowing Irony Update:  I just heard Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up” as the background music.  Ummm, really?

Nazi Update: Ummm, why are they talking about Nazi’s?  Remember when Hitler proposed providing all Germans, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation?  Yea, me neither.

Final hypocritical statement:  One of the FreedomWorks.gove folks (a conversative political lobbying firm) just told everyone they were now “Community Organizers”.  This is funny as “community organizers” have been equated with commies/socialists since this whole movement against paying taxes started.

Quick update on why this is the death throes of the Republican party:  The only black or brown face I’ve seen has been on stage.  Not a single hispanic in sight (all those illegals must be working hard today, cooking these folks food, cutting these folks lawns and raising their children).   And BTW, if you think the rhetoric has been bad so far during Obama’s eight months in office, wait until Congress takes up the much needed immigration reform legislation which is coming next…

[1] WASHINGTON, Jan 8 (Reuters) – France, Japan and Australia rated best and the United States worst in new rankings focusing on preventable deaths due to treatable conditions in 19 leading industrialized nations, researchers said on Tuesday.

If the U.S. health care system performed as well as those of those top three countries, there would be 101,000 fewer deaths in the United States per year, according to researchers writing in the journal Health Affairs.

[2] However, in 2003, Wilson voted to provide federal funds for illegal immigrants’ healthcare. The vote came on the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, which contained Sec. 1011 authorizing $250,000 annually between 2003 and 2008 for government reimbursements to hospitals who provide treatment for uninsured illegal immigrants. The program has been extended through 2009 and there is currently a bipartisan bill in Congress to make it permanent.

Morality and the Health Care Debate

Last week, after it became apparent that the GOP campaign of disinformation regarding the health care legislation was working wonderfully [1] President Obama shifted gears a bit to talk about *why* this change is necessary.

WASHINGTON — President Obama sought Wednesday to reframe the health care debate as “a core ethical and moral obligation,” imploring a coalition of religious leaders to help promote the plan to lower costs and expand insurance coverage for all Americans.

“I know there’s been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are frankly bearing false witness,” Mr. Obama told a multidenominational group of pastors, rabbis and other religious leaders who support his goal to remake the nation’s health care system.

To be sure, I’m no multi-denominational preacher.   In fact, my spiritual beliefs and the foundation of my moral system is largely outside of those of the ancient religions.  But more on that in a moment.  Let’s look at the problem here from a slightly larger perspective.

As has been widely reported, there are 47,000,000 red-blooded American citizens that don’t have health insurance.  As we are a compassionate country (in some ways) when any of these 47,000,000 living, breathing, humans show up at an emergency room, they will get treated for what is likely to make them dead humans.

The problem with this “final solution” is that treating illness when it becomes life threatening is extremely expensive and that cost is then paid completely by those not currently receiving life saving treatment.

Every single other large industrialized country on our planet has determined that providing preventative and diagnostic health care for emerging problems has proved far more economical than just ignoring the fact that forty-seven-million Americans don’t get any health care until they are at, or near, their death beds.

For those of us with morals, this situation is untenable.

As mentioned previously, my moral foundation is grounded not in faith in the supernatural, but in the preponderous amount of qualified information we now have regarding the natural world and it’s wondrous creations [2].  In this formulation, based on understanding as much verified information as possible and providing the best possible explanation (aka “theory”), the question of morality and health care is even simpler.

And the theory is also getting stronger, as more information becomes available.  Which brings up to Operation Stardust, and the latest bit of verified information.

For the first time, a building block of proteins — and hence of life as we know it — has been found in a comet.

That adds to the prevailing notion that many of the ingredients for the origin of life showered down on the early Earth when asteroids (interplanetary rocks orbiting the inner solar system) and comets (dirty ice balls that generally congregate in the outer solar system beyond Neptune) made impact with the planet.

In the new research, scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Md., detected the amino acid glycine in comet bits brought back in 2006 by the NASA space probe Stardust.

So what does finding an amino acid in a comet’s tail have to do with providing healthcare for all Americans?

Good question, and I’ll be honest, we’re doing a bit of misdirection here [3].  You see, my moral foundation comes from the idea that simple elements combined over time is vast explosions in space created more complex elements.   The more complex elements, attracted to each other by the natural bending of space known as gravity, came together to form larger, more stable structures (like the glycine mentioned above, verifying this step of theory).

Once the stable building of blocks of life existed, all that was needed was a wet warm place to grow, which brings us (literally) to Planet Earth.

Mix in a few billions years, and tendency of more efficient organisms (in terms of survival and propagation) to gain in complexity and the ability to alter and effect reality, and you get life as we know it.  Mix in a few more million years, and you get life that we would call human.

Mix in another 10,000 years and you get human life that we would call civilized.

Mix in another 100 years and you get industrialized human life, where machines do most of the work, and human’s biggest health problem in now one that we ourselves create.

We now know so much about ourselves and our world most health problems and horrible diseases can be treated, and these amazing things we have become can life happy and healthy lives…when given the amazing medical care now available to prevent and treat disease before they can become life-threatening and chronic.

Which is why I support a health care system reform that places profits over people.  In the industrialized world, there is but one country that places profit in the marketplace above and beyond the amazing thing we call life.  That country is the United States of America, and it is time for that country to change.

It is, quite simply, the right thing to do.


[1] “THE POLL: 45 percent said it’s likely the government will decide when to stop care for the elderly; 50 percent said it’s not likely.

THE FACTS: Nothing being debated in Washington would give the government such authority.

THE POLL: 55 percent expect the overhaul will give coverage to illegal immigrants; 34 percent don’t.

THE FACTS: The proposals being negotiated do not provide coverage for illegal immigrants.

THE POLL: 54 percent said the overhaul will lead to a government takeover of health care; 39 percent disagree.

THE FACTS: Obama is not proposing a single-payer system in which the government covers everyone, like in Canada or some European countries.

THE POLL: 50 percent expect taxpayer dollars will be used to pay for abortions; 37 percent don’t.

THE FACTS: The House version of legislation would allow coverage for abortion, but the bill says a beneficiary’s own money — not taxpayer funds — must be used to pay for the procedure.


[2] For those with a moral foundation in the supernatural religions, the question of whether or not health care should be provided to all fellow citizens was decided long ago.  The question now is only how to make it more efficient.

[3] The necessity for the misdirection is explained by the results of this study.

“In fact,” he says, “for the most part people completely ignore contrary information.

“The study demonstrates voters’ ability to develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information,” he explains.

While numerous scholars have blamed a campaign of false information and innuendo from the Bush administration, this study argues that the primary cause of misperception in the 9/11-Saddam Hussein case was not the presence or absence of accurate data but a respondent’s desire to believe in particular kinds of information.

“The argument here is that people get deeply attached to their beliefs,” Hoffman says.

I can’t just go at the issue for those that have already decided, and become emotionally enamoured with the idea that Obama is an evil socialist/Muslim bent on taking away their guns.  You have to go with the science, and attack from the flank.

Ending the Heath Care debate

It’s been more than a few days since I shared my wondrous insights with my legions of fans here at RPN (does two people count as a legion?), and there’s been a bunch of back and forth on the health care debate so far, so instead of doing some massive fact-laden post, we’ll pick up this thing mid-stream and go with it (besides, the debate has devolved to the point where facts mean little, and are quickly ignored).

The quick point of this post…maybe it’s time to quit even talking to Republicans about the problem and the proposed solution.  As Senator Charles Grassley recently opined, it doesn’t matter what’s in the bill, this is about putting Obama in his place.

When NBC’s Chuck Todd, in a follow-up question on the show, asked the Iowa Republican if he’d vote against what Grassley might consider to be a “good deal” — i.e., gets everything he asks for from Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D) — Grassley replied, “It isn’t a good deal if I can’t sell my product to more Republicans.”

There reaches a point in any debate when it becomes clear that one party of the other is actually arguing about something else.   Once this point is reached, it’s time to just make a decision.

So far we’ve seen very prominent and unemployed Republicans opine about how the terrorist-lovin’ Obama (he pals around with them, I hear) is working to institute a fascist/socialist/Hitlerist program in this country , where he will be killing old people and pushing abortion on everyone.  He’s going to take the guns away and blot out the Sun, from what I hear.  Sure, none of this has anything to do with having a modern health care system, but that’s the point. 

When folks are talking about what health care is really like here, no one says that the system we have is beyond reproach.   I’ve personally talked to folks, after the calm down and quit frothing at the mouth, that make suggestions for health care reform *that are already in the bill*. 

When one side is saying that we need to reform a health care system that is currently rationed out to the point where 1 out of 7 red-blooded Americans get nothing, and the other side is carrying around high powered assault rifles to rallies, it’s time to end the debate and bring it to a vote.

The Democrats have the votes needed to pass legislation.  The Republicans have made this a proxy fight against Obama himself (very little they say, and their media motormouths repeat, has anything to do with the legislation as proposed).

Bring it to a vote and do the job the majority of Americans elected you to do.

[originally published in the Examiner]

Karl Rove shows how it’s done because he is a Genius

This is a wonderful object lesson we have for us today. This is how you fling shit, and fling it well.

The Genius that is Bush’s Brain has spoken.


On the campaign trail last year, Barack Obama promised to end the “politics of fear and cynicism.” Yet he is now trying to sell his health-care proposals on fear.

Boom!  Right off the bat, Karl Rove is at it.

Obama is trying to scare you, Rove posits.  Immediately and to the point, get the big lie out first and quickly…Obama is a hypocrite for trying to reform health care.  Hypocrisy = Healthcare = Secrit Muslin = Obama.

Now, let’s back up a bit to quick little rant I tossed up the other day.  You can watch it, well, right here…yea, I move my arms around that much when I get a bit fired up.

So in that rant I talked about how you should ignore folks who try and make this about a man, rather than about a plan.  It’s a logical fallacy, a lie.  A big one.  Right out the gate, I tell ya, that Rove is a genius.

Healthcare is an important part of our lives, I don’t think I need to stress that point.  We have an aging population (*will be mentioned lated), the most expensive per capita by far system in the world.  We have 47,000,000 to 50,000,000 folks without health insurance, and those that do have it have seen prices skyrocket. 

It’s a huge, expensive, beauracratic, corporate, and already some government, system.  The idea is to make it better.

O.k. so….that’s why we’re having this debate.  Which has been going on for 17 or 18 years, recently, and even longer than that historically as the United States has expanded and matured as a culture.   Yes, it was rather inconceivable to the Founding Fathers that every black child, born in every shack, had the Right, as an American, to get essentially free health care for their entire lives.

It’s not such a far fetch idea nowadys, IMHO.  So it’s quite possible they overlooked that right when talking about the pursuit of happiness and how, say, polio can put a damper on it.

All I’m saying there is that we as a country have evolved a bit since the Constitution was penned.  A Constitution that gave us the ability to shape our government and our country as we see fit.

That’s how big a debate this is, and how important an issue we have here.

Let’s head back to Karl and see what he is adding to the conversation after starting out with a logical faux paus.

[Obama] said “Reform is about every American who has ever feared that they may lose their coverage, or lose their job. . . . If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket. If we do not act, 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health insurance every single day. These are the consequences of inaction.”

See, Obama used the word “fear” and said he wouldn’t.  Eeew, that Obamanation…

Note how Karl then doesn’t deal with the fact that costs are skyrocketing and 14,000 Americans lose coverage each day.   He goes straight to the stats.  Genius, I tells ya.

A Fox News Poll from last week shows that 84% of Americans who have health insurance are happy with their coverage. And because 91% of all Americans have insurance, that means that 76% of all Americans will be concerned about anything that threatens their current coverage. By a 2-1 margin, according to the Fox Poll, Americans want coverage from a private provider rather than the government.

84, 91, 76, Americans, 2-1,

Note how quickly we gloss over the fact that his first statistic comes from a Fox Online News Poll, compiled regarding the humble opinions of the folks that visit Fox New a lot.  Again, first the big lie.  Quickly and then on to the next.

91% of Americans have insurance Rove assures us.   With 300,000,000 Americans, and 50,000,000 (+14,000/day) without insurance, I’m seeing something more like 1 out of 6.  16.66 percent. The ratio of the devil.

Which makes 83.33% the real number, but hey, what’s 8% wiggle room after the first whopper.

Then ya just multiple the first two numbers to make up a third (.84 * .91 = 76%) which is totally unrelated to the fourth, which is another Fox Poll (which has no margin of error, it would seem) that says essentially, out of 300,000,000 Americans, 100,000,000 want government insurance and 200,000,000 want private. 

Right now, 250,000,000 Americans have private insurance.  So the poll is really saying 50,000,000 Americans want a public option for health insurance and to say screw you to the insurance companies and their heartless profit-obsessed culture and beauracracy.

So we have 50,000,000 who want a public option and 50,000,000 who have squat, and about half of ’em voted for Obama to try and fix this system.

So he told Congress to get to work, and now we are all calmly discussin various solutions, right?

Right?  Cool.

Discussin’ solutions, right…Karl?

Facing numbers like these, Mr. Obama is dropping his high-minded rhetoric and instead trying to scare voters.

Facing what numbers?   People want to fix the system, they voted for the guy.  Now we can all calmly discuss real world solutions, like legislators do.   Policy, right?

During last week’s news conference, for example, he said that doctors routinely perform unnecessary tonsillectomies on children simply to fatten their wallets. All that was missing was the suggestion that the operations were conducted without anesthesia.

Well, that suggestion is there now, isn’t it Karl?  I mean, I’ll bet that’s exactly what Obama is planning, along with the government kill squads that go after old people, convincing them to die “for the good of society”.  Just like in that Hollywood fantasy

What, you haven’t you heard about those grandma killing beuracrats?  Obama has been asked about them at least 5 different times (that’s I’ve seen).  Someone out there is spreading some FUD, that’s for sure.  [btw, here’s the factcheck on that, so you can know where it came from]

Anyway, back to policy, right Karl?

This is not a healthy way to wage a policy debate. It also risks making the president look desperate at a time when his proposals are looking increasingly too expensive for Americans to accept.

No, this is not a healthy way to wage a policy debate, Karl.  Why are you doing it like this?   Aaah, yes, to try and make the President (caps, Karl…) look “desperate” (desperate enough to choke Grandma with Lil’ Timmy’s Tonsils).

But now we are to the good part, let’s talk money.

Last weekend, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) demolished Mr. Obama’s claims that his plan cuts the growth of future health spending and won’t add to the deficit.

This is a fun one, actually.   Watch Karl work this…

Responding to a White House proposal to create an independent panel to recommend Medicare cuts, the CBO said on Saturday that “The probability is high that no savings would be realized” in the next decade, while entitlement spending would rise $1.042 trillion. The CBO did say there might be $2 billion in savings in the second decade of the program—a pittance.

Note how Karl uses the gross figure there, “entitlement spending woud rise $1.042 trillion in the next decade”, and then we start to see savings on the changes.

What Karl neglects to mention is that the health care reform legislation includes covering the vast majority of those 50,000,000 uncovered human Americans and another 100,000,000 old as hell Americans (Baby Boomers, who are only going to get more expensive).

So even with that…we end up spending what current projections look like.

That’s what is happening.  Here read the testimony itself. 

Elmendorf told members of the committee that his answer to Conrad shows only that the bill “adds to federal health spending, and that amount is difficult to offset.” 

In other words, it’s not that the health reform bills do not lead to savings for the federal government — just that those savings may not offset the added expense of subsidizing insurance for many more Americans.

And Karl spins it like a maniac.  Genius, I tell ya.

White House Budget Director Peter Orszag shot back at the CBO with a blog posting on the White House’s Web site arguing, “the point of the proposal . . . was never to generate savings over the next decade.” Really? The White House rolled out the proposal hoping to give cover to Blue Dog Democrats in Congress barking about the cost of overhauling health care.

Yea, really.  The point is to contain healthcare costs, insure Americans, and keep people living happy, healthy lives.  That’s the point.  And that’s what the CBO said it did.   And it did get the BDD’s some leverage and they cut into the bill pretty good.  Weakening it, but it continues on, as did Rove…

Here comes a good one.

The House version of ObamaCare adds to the deficit even though the new taxes to pay for part of it begin two years before the program itself kicks in. That head start puts ObamaCare in the black through 2013. But net new spending after that overwhelms future revenue to add to the deficit each year.

Keith Hennessey, who was a National Economic Council director for George W. Bush, estimates the annual deficits in Mr. Obama’s plan will grow to $64 billion a year by 2019.

It’s important to keep these two points together.  Pointed out in the bold.  See..when you run in the black for four years, then run small deficits increasing to a palty $64 B (out of $1 T, or 0.064%) for six years, YOU END UP EVEN.

Oh,and since when did “National Economic Council director for George W. Bush” carry weight?   Bush projection’s had us swimming in oil and money by 2009, if you’ll recall. 

Anyway, sorry…just had to Bush Bash for a moment.   Recall, everyone, that this article I’m spending so much time playing with was penned by one Karl Rove.   Karl was Bush’s brain.  And y’all know what Bush did.   Genius.

To continue…

And this assumes that Mr. Obama gets all the tax increases and Medicare cuts he wants.

Yup, Obama is increasin’ your taxes and cutting your Medicare!  Scared yet?


Let’s a put the last few of these together, I’m sure you’re getting as bored with tearing apart Karl as I am, but here’s a few more nice zingers…genius.

Damaging reports from the CBO had earlier provoked some Chicago-style intimidation, with the president summoning CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf to the Oval Office. It’s safe to assume that they didn’t talk about the Chicago White Sox.

Ooooh, that’s old schoold Chicago policitcs, talking directly to someone who releases a report at your request.  I think it’s also safe to assume they probably, oh, I don’t know…TALKED ABOUT THE PROJECTED COST OF THE HEALTH CARE PLAN?

From what I’ve seen of Obama and heard of him, he likes to know stuff, and he’s pretty sharp.  So what came out of that conversation?  Here come the air-quotes…

Imagine if Mr. Bush had done that after the CBO released numbers that undercut the centerpiece of his domestic agenda. “White House thuggery” and “intimidation” would have been the theme of nearly every editorial writer in the country.

Interesting that now they are only coming from one editorial writer in the country.  Sucks not to be in control anymore, doesn’t it Karl?   Note how he used the quotes as if to say that he’s actually quoting an editor.  Nope, just making shit up, Karl-style.

Team Obama’s pressure, however, might have caused the CBO to release its latest missives on a weekend, when fewer people are paying attention to the news.

Ohh, yea…you loved doin’ that one, didn’t ya?   Why do you think folks like myself tend to wait until Friday night to talk about the week that was?  We learned it from watching you, Karl. 

Note how the alleged “quoted” intimidation has now been succressful in Karl’s narrative.

Mr. Obama’s problem is that nine out of 10 Americans would likely get worse health care if ObamaCare goes through.

Wait, what?  ObamaCare?!  9 out of 10…where from was this statistic pulled and why does it smell like processed burritos?

Of those who do not have insurance—and who therefore might be better off—approximately one-fifth are illegal aliens, nearly three-fifths make $50,000 or more a year and can afford insurance, and just under a third are probably eligible for Medicaid or other government programs already.

You gorram asshole.  This whole discussion, this whole times we’ve been talking about Americans, and now you’re talking about those damned illegals that came to your house to protest you being an asshole.

So everyone else is illegal, solidly middle class or already covered.  Wait, what?  It’s stat-mash-up time, folks, and where does it end?

For the slice of the uninsured that is left—perhaps about 2% of all American citizens—Team Obama would dismantle the world’s greatest health-care system.

Down to 2%.   We’ve gone from 50,000,000 people to only 6,000,000…all with the power of Karl Rove’s statistics.

So now you know a little bit more why Bush made such horrible decisions.   This is the guy that was feeding him data.

And the coup-de-grace, the final big lie.  Book-end them, for his pleasure.

That’s a losing proposition, which is why Mr. Obama is increasingly resorting to fear and misleading claims. It’s all the candidate of hope has left.

Hope or Fear.

Obama or Rove.

Gosh, that’s a tough call.  After all, Karl Rove is genius.  He just made 44,000,000 people disappear with statistics.

There’s no problem here.  Nothing to fear.  Move along, citizen. 

And get that cough checked out at the emergency room.

Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.

Enough said.